Sep 13, 2016

Your Investment at Work

GSBA has always been a supportive place of people who were eager to know and support me. For instance, when in college I was exploring a career in medicine, I reached out to the Scholarship manager to find someone to meet and talk with about the field. Although there was no official mentorship program, I trusted that GSBA would call upon its extensive network to put someone in my corner. After I graduated in 2014, I ended up pursuing a career in financial advising. I reached out to Stephanie Dallas who had hosted my table for the 2013 GSBA Scholars Dinner and who happens to be experienced financial advisor. Since then I have benefited from the generosity of her mentorship in our quarterly get-togethers. I would encourage any GSBA scholar to take advantage of the network of professionals who are invested in their success. These connections are what make GSBA meaningful to me, and I hope to make more of them now that I have become an official member. GSBA supported me as a student, at a time when life felt more trying and more unclear, and it feels satisfying to be able to return to that same place now to meet new like-minded friends, business connections, and clients. 

I think the intangible value of a GSBA scholarship is not so much in guiding young people to be engaged, since the scholarship committee is choosing from a pool of exceptionally engaged and highly motivated young students, but in providing a site of shared learning and a place to connect with members of the LGBTQ community who are different than you. For instance, many scholars grew up with greater struggles than I or many of my now-fellow GSBA members have overcome. GSBA encompasses a great diversity of disenfranchisement, so to speak, and I think there is a tremendous opportunity for sharing over that divide. Hopefully, it is a place where healthy and successful members of our community act as donors and mentors to the next generation, but also commit to learn from scholars with humility regarding the privileges many members enjoy.


Jun 9, 2016

A Scholars Dinner to Remember!

Over 500 guests filled the Seattle Marriott Waterfront ballroom to hear our Scholars share their stories, dreams, and incredible accomplishments, all too often achieved under very difficult circumstances and without support. Through the power of video, beautifully produced by Interchange Media, each story came alive. This year, the entire night was Scholar-focused as past Scholars presented scholarships to new students. Our emcee extraordinaire was our very own 2013 Scholar, current Board member, and Starbucks partner, Danny Cords.
Special moments of the evening included hearing from 2003 Scholar Melissa M, who shared her journey from hard times to being the impressive professional she is today. Then we had the presentation of the two newly endowed scholarships. It is an amazing tribute to honor someone's memory by creating a lifetime scholarship! Leslie presented the Giblett Family Scholarship to a student who is majoring in Political Science with the goal of representing the LGBT community in elected office. Carrie presented the L. Robb Scholarship to a fourth year GSBA Scholar and a student at Whitman College studying Economics.
We were thrilled that Glenn and MichaelBob and 
DanaKent, Shay, and Richelle; Linda; and Tina were all on stage to congratulate their scholars.
Hearing from our named scholarship donors, and from the recipients, created some very powerful moments that I know inspired many guests to think about leaving a legacy. If you are considering supporting a future LGBTQ leader, please don't hesitate to reach out to Mark, Stephanie, or me. We would love the opportunity to provide the GSBA Guarantee to even more deserving students next year.
Two corporate partners created new scholarships this year, as well. Kasey presented the first Wells Fargo GSBA Scholarship to Rigoberto who is currently pursuing a degree in accounting at Seattle University; and Joe Whittinghill presented the Microsoft Scholarships to Olivia (Digi Pen Institute of Technology), Katherine (University of Washington), and Julia (University of Washington).
The announcement of the GSBA Guarantee brought folks to their feet as we announced that,from this year forward, every Scholar will be guaranteed support for all four years of their undergraduate education as long as they stay in school.  
If you were unable to attend this powerfully moving 26th Scholars Dinner, it's not too late to join the celebration and to invest in the next generation of leaders by making a donation today.
Also, it was so exciting to see many guests ready to sign up as table captains for our over-the-top Scholarship Fund gala, the TASTE of GSBA on November 19, 2016. Given, this event has sold out for the past five years, it is a good reminder to reserve your TASTE table now!
Before I conclude my thanks to you all, I want to acknowledge the outstanding response from the business community to stand up against bigotry and intolerance by joining together and signing on to Washington Won't Discriminate, our campaign created to ensure our antidiscrimination policy, which has been in effect for 10 years, does not roll back civil rights for our transgender community. VOTE NO ON I-1515! If your business has not yet signed on to WA Won't Discriminate, please do so now.  Certainly, weakening our civil rights laws does not reflect Washington State values, where we are proud of being a progressive and inclusive state.
For the future,
Louise Chernin
President & CEO
Mar 14, 2016

Investing in Our Scholars Beyond the Dollar

As we embark on our 26th year of investing in the next generation of leaders, we are excited to announce some exciting new initiatives. Over the years we have continued to fine tune our priorities and are committed to making lasting, meaningful investments in our scholars. For the first time in our history, we have committed to funding our scholars for up to 4-years of their undergraduate program. We believe supporting our students from year to year will allow them to better focus on their studies without the added pressure and stress of paying for their education. For many students, especially for those who come from marginalized communities, the high costs of higher education is overwhelming.

In addition to investing in our scholars beyond the dollar, we will hold our first one-day leadership workshop. This will be the first time we have formally provided a space for our scholars to meet and work together. The workshop, led by a scholarship supporter and professional facilitator, will be based in design thinking. The program aims to more strongly connecting our scholars with one another, enhance their leadership skills, and engage them collaboratively in addressing social and political challenges in which they have shared interests.

The objectives of the program are to:

  1. Productively connect each year’s group of scholars, fostering new levels of peer support and forming lifelong “tribes.”
  2. Encourage scholars to discover and collaboratively address shared interests in social and political issues.
  3. Provide leadership training and support that is immediately applicable to the scholar’s needs and develops their competencies and confidence for personal and career achievement.

The workshop facilitator said, “GSBA is already doing much in terms of selecting each year’s scholars and providing them with enabling financial support. It is believed that this new leadership initiative will build on this investment, taking the value of the GSBA program to a whole new and exciting level for the scholars and our communities.”

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